Workflow Approval Processing

Posted October 31st, 2008 in Certified Administrator and tagged , by John Coppedge

Define the basics of the Workflow Approval Process

Let’s go through the steps:

  1. User submits record for approval.
    There is no method for automatic approval submission.
  2. Does this record match the criteria for any approval processes on this object?
    If yes –> Step 3
    If no –> Reject
  3. Perform initial submission actions
    This will always include locking the record so that no further changes can be made until the approval process is finished.
    This can also include other workflow actions.
  4. Record enters approval steps.
    Appropriate parties must approve/deny record.
  5. One of 3 approval process completions occurs.  In addition to locking or unlocking the record, each of these completions can has its own set of additional workflow actions.
    Approval.  Record is approved by all parties.  The record is locked by default.
    Rejection.  Record is rejected by any part.  The record is unlocked by default.
    Recall.  Record is recalled by submitter. The record is always unlocked.


Compare and contrast the Approval Processes versus Workflow

Workflow Rule Approval Process
Automatic (triggered when record matches criteria) Manual.  Can only be invoked if record matches criteria.
No interaction required (time-based workflow rules are transparent as well). Each step of the approval process requires interaction from a user (approve/reject).
Uses workflow actions Uses workflow actions
Does not lock the record under any situation Locks the record during the approval process.
Changes to record tracked normally (as if user initiating the workflow rule made the change) Approval process audit history listed in separate related list on object


List the differences between the Jump Start Wizard and the Standard Approval Process Wizard

The jump start wizard will create an approval process with one step using a set of default values.  See “Approval Process Jump Start Default Selections”.  Essentially when you create an approval process using the wizard you’ll get an approval process with one approval step and one set of filter criteria with the default values.


Explain how to route Approvals

Approvals occur within approval steps.

Each approval step is:  1) ordered in number of execution, 2) has its own filter criteria for entry, 3) designates an approver.  Here’s how it plays out:

  1. Record is submitted for approval and meets initial criteria.  Start first approval step.
  2. Does record meet criteria (or formula) for this approval step?
    If no –> skip/approve/reject.
    If yes –> require approval.  Designated approver approves/rejects and chooses the next approver if required.  If the next approver is automatically selected through a hierarchical relationship, the current approver is used to determine the relationship (not the approval initiator).  This can be used to route approvals through several tiers of management.
  3. Repeat step 2 until out of finished with approval steps.  If record has passed/skipped all approval steps, then process approval actions.

See “Useful Approval Processes” for examples and additional info.


Create and test the Approval Process

Take a simple hierarchy:

  • VP
    • Manager
      • Worker

Create an approval process using the hierarchy from worker to VP with filters at each step.


Identify the settings in creating Workflow Approval Processing

Filter Criteria

Next automated approver – used for hierarchical approvals

Administrator only or Administrator and Approver record modification

Email template – template that is sent to approver when an approval is required from that individual

Approval Page fields – these are the fields that show up on the approval page

Security settings – set if page can be viewed from Salesforce mobile, or only from a web browser

Specify initial submitters – who can submit the record for approval (by default this is the record owner only)